Kibbles & Balls Friday, Aug 29 2008 

28 August 2008
Nearly four years ago, Marita Beth and I were “gifted” in the form of a very young puppy found wandering in our front yard. The next door neighbour had rung us up one morning at 0730 to find out if we had accidentally let our dog out. Of course, we had not, ‘Tia was still sound asleep in her crate and we in our bed. This scrawny, little cross-eyed border collie puppy became a source of neighbourhood searching for the next few weeks. Our next door neighbour’s kids put up signs, we contacted the Border Collie rescue society, the pound and the local pet stores. No one seemed to own or want this dog despite caring enough to put a very expensive shock collar on his neck sans tags. As TRF approached we tried harder but found no success. Eventually we had to make a choice: the pound, or the kennel? Since the pound wouldn’t/couldn’t guarantee he’d live through the weekend, we took him with ‘Tia to the “pet hotel” (kennel) where we, obviously, had to get all of his shots and papers up-to-date. So, $300 later, that little Border Collie became Cormac and the newest member of the family.
During his travails as a solo pup scrounging for food, he picked up the habit of absolutely devouring his food in as quick a fashion as possible. In fact, he could put down an entire bowl of dry kibbles in less than 10 seconds. We did lots of research and found no effective way to curb this behaviour, and four years later we still can’t slow him down. So, an old incomplete croquet set came to the rescue and in went three balls. The subject of my photo.
Balls & Kibbles
If you have any thoughts on how to slow down a dog that thinks he’s ravenous and will never eat again, I’m all ears. Four years later it’s just irritating and I wish he’d slow his eating. Five minutes after he’s done, ‘Tia will finally finish her meal and have a bit of water as a nice post-dinner relaxer. Cormac should learn from her.
Cheers.

~KR (Written on 29 August 2008 )

Listening to:
One Tin Soldier by Coven
from Super Hits of the Seventies

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.8 sec (4/5)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

The Perfect Pour Thursday, Aug 28 2008 

27 August 2008
(With apologies to A & W)
My Guinness Stout,
it has that frosty pint taste,
frosty pint taste!
Yes, my Guinness Stout has that frosty pint taste.

I do love my Guinness.
Perfect Pour
Cheers.

~KR (Written on 28 August 2008 )

Chad by Cold Electric
from Cold Electric

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.067 sec (1/15)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: 0 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire
Software: picnik.com

Cicada on a Mini Bulb Thursday, Aug 28 2008 

Cicada on a Mini Bulb

28 August 2008

Only a couple of days left to get any real sewing done.  So much to do, so little time. 

Both Kelly and I have expressed some regret at the boxes of stuff we’re taking home that didn’t get done.  But, progress was made, and we are responsible for our choices.  It’s all good.

In the vein of summertime winding down, it seems to be cicada-time.  This photogenic insect in my photo today was just hanging out—presumably keeping warm on a cool morning.  I’ve done a little research and learned that I believe this to be a Tibicen or “Dog Day” Cicada—an annual variety, found all over North America.  Commonly seen in July and August, here, I believe this one is in its final days.  Kelly spotted it in the MBistro and being a loyal Daily KRuMB reader, immediately pointed it out to me as a perfect photo of the day opportunity.

~MB

Beading Complete Thursday, Aug 28 2008 

Beading Complete

27 August 2008

I had a lot of fun with the beading design for McKenna’s underskirt.  I have finally decided, in light of the fact that almost-nine-year-olds grow A LOT in a year’s time, that the underskirt is done, now.  I finished my beading motif, and added the last of the accenting rimsets, and it’s done.  Tomorrow I will build her a little “Juliet” cap and call the project complete.  Or, at least as complete as it can be until she tries it on, and I see if I need to tweak it.  I am delighted with the results.  Her skirts, especially, are stunning, if I do say so myself.  I hope she likes the princess she’ll see in the mirror!

I can hardly believe that our time here is almost over.  The end of Bristol each year, is bittersweet.  How I love summers in Wisconsin!  And, how I long to be home with my husband. 

In light of the summer ending, today was the day Kelly and I had set aside to sort through her little storage garage, and move her stuff to a better location.  That wasn’t exactly fun, but it was rather satisfying.  And dinner, was once again with our dear friends Larry and Denise—tonight’s menu was chicken parmigiana!  Yum!

~MB

My Goodness Wednesday, Aug 27 2008 

26 August 2008
One of these days, I’ll learn to pay closer attention to the little focusing square in my camera. Perhaps it was the "late" hour, perhaps I was distracted by the subject. Either way, the center of focus is most certainly not what I would have chosen, had I but paid attention.
My Goodness
It is what it is. During the fall & winter months and bleeding into spring, this is my beer of choice. I will always prefer water over beer for overall consumptive purposes, but a photo of the water spout on the refrigerator is decidedly less interesting than a gaggle of Guinness bottles in the icebox.
Cheers.

~KR (Written on 27 August 2008 )

Listening to:
A conference call

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.125 sec (1/8)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
ISO Speed: 80
Exposure Bias: 0 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire
Software: picnik.com

Conundrum Tuesday, Aug 26 2008 

25 August 2008
Years ago a good friend and a good man said to me, "Kyle, anyone can buy an expensive wine. The trick is in buying an inexpensive wine that tastes like it’s expensive."
I’ve tried to live by the words, at least within my wine-buying world. I’ve not been nearly as successful as the man that imparted those words of wisdom to me; but I continue to try.
This is an inexpensive wine that tastes expensive. Conundrum.
Conundrum
A lovely, white table wine that goes well with every food I’ve paired with it. Crisp, easy to drink and completely wonderful in dry, Texas summers.
Cheers.

~KR (Written on 26 August 2008 )

Listening to:
MOM’s Revel/Raggle Taggle Gypsy by Minstrels of Mayhem
from Then

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.2 sec (1/5)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
ISO Speed: 80
Exposure Bias: 0 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire
Software: picnik.com

Faire Maiden Tuesday, Aug 26 2008 

24 August 2008
A rare treat this year has been the ability of my wife to come to Texas twice. The second visit coincided with our 13th Anniversary which made it doubly special. On that trip she arrived with an anniversary gift from our dear friends Maron & Meredith.
Girl Glass
These are hand-blown glasses from Girl Glass (Faire Maiden Glass at Bristol). Once again I bow to those that shoot glass effectively. Even picnik couldn’t save the shot as much as necessary.
Cheers.

~KR (Written on 26 August 2008 )

Listening to:
I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry by Al Green
from Call Me

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.5 sec (1/2)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
ISO Speed: 80
Exposure Bias: 0 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire
Software: picnik.com

Working from Home Tuesday, Aug 26 2008 

23 August 2008
Working from home on a Saturday.
One of the benefits of my job is that I do have ability to work remotely. One of the downfalls of being able to telecommute is the need to telecommute on days off.
Working at home
My laptop, my USB mouse and my television. Working from home does allow certain distractions…at least on days off.
Cheers.

~KR (Written on 26 August 2008 )

Listening to:
Year of the Boomerang by Rage Against the Machine
from Best of Rage Against the Machine

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.8 sec (4/5)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

Laptop Jelly Beans Tuesday, Aug 26 2008 

Laptop Jelly Beans

26 August 2008

Sounds kinda kinky, huh?  It’s not.  It’s just a midday snack while I do email!

One of the dangers of this faire is that you’ll find a friend (Stephen) who loves jelly beans and thinks you need to eat bunches of them, too! 😉

The Jelly Belly Candy Company has a “factory” facility, right here in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin.  I’m told they don’t actually make jelly beans here—I guess it’s mostly a distribution center.  But, they do tours, and they have an extensive gift shop.  This package of candy Stephen brought for Kelly and I last week is the “smoothie blend!”  The flavours are:  cherry passion fruit, madarin orange mango, mixed berry, pineapple pear, and strawberry banana.  Crazy, but yummy.

~MB

Fun at Chicago’s Fizz Tuesday, Aug 26 2008 

Ginger and John Dancing at Fizz

25 August 2008

Do you know how hard it is to take a decent photo of a couple while they’re swing dancing?! 

I had no idea—previously, that is!  Now, I do.  I took bunches of photos at this dance event, and only a precious few came out well.  Kat picked up my camera twice to snap photos of me, and both times got good ones!  Go figure!  (Of course, on the very last dance of the evening,  this guy named Michael had asked me to dance, and was wise to Kat’s sneakiness.  He dipped me, then said, “look up!” and that’s precisely when Kat pushed the button!)

The day was spent doing computer work, and booth maintenance, and some early trailer-packing.  And, except for some bruises and scrapes sustained in a clumsy tumble from the trailer—it’s a long story that will be best told over a margarita!–it was a good day for me where I accomplished a lot.  The evening had been promised to Shannon and Ginger.  After seven weeks of them going to this club every Monday night for dancing, Kelly and I had committed to going along.  After all, we’d missed the DJ contests that Shannon had won, and this was her first official night to spin as a pro!  We really HAD to go!

The place is fun.  Fizz Bar and Grill is a little joint on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago, with a nice menu, an impressive bar, and an even more impressive bartender. (The guy mixes his own bitters and is reviving pre-prohibition drink recipes that date back as far as the early nineteenth century! He mixes his trademark $9 cocktails from eyedroppers full of secret ingredients—awesome to watch!)  Upstairs from the main restaurant/bar, is a long, narrow “dance club” where some of the best swing dancers in Chicagoland gather every Monday night.  Shannon controlled the dance floor with her expert mix of fabulous music for the first two hours of dancing, and then our friend Doug took over and played out the night.  Ginger danced at least every other dance, as did Kat.  (You can see Kat in the green skirt in the background of today’s main photo.) When I wasn’t dancing, I attempted to take pictures!  As a newcomer to the club, I didn’t get asked to dance much—I was grateful for another friend John (the cute guy in the photos with Ginger), and Shannon, and the earlier mentioned Michael, who did ask me to dance, because . . . I love to dance!  I don’t really “get” the whole culture of the swing dance scene, so I have a different perspective on this first time experience, than Ginger or Shannon or even Kat.  It seems the cure for feeling like an outsider (even as a woman) is to boldly stick your neck out and ask somebody to dance.  Not being comfortable in a foreign environment, and not being overly confident of my own ability, that never occurred to me.  I kept thinking, “it’s their club, I’m the guest . . . they’ll ask me.”   But, I was informed (too late in the evening to be of use this visit) that I had it backwards!  Jump out there, and do it, they said!  My response:  maybe next year!  It seemed to be a pretty friendly place, all things considered, and it was certainly full of talented dancers.  I will look forward to future visits.

~MB

Addendum:  Here’s a couple of cute photos of Kelly and me from this night at Fizz.  Thanks, John, for these pics and a couple others I’ve stuck in as links above!

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